VM_365 Day 27: Down to Margate Pier

VM 27Our image today shows that Archaeology doesn’t have to  be buried in the ground, or to be  ancient, to reveal an important story of the past.

In celebration of the recent long spell of warm summer weather, we want to show that one of Thanet’s important seaside landmarks Margate Pier preserves much archaeological evidence of its us for industry and pleasure over the last 200 years.

Just look carefully for the fixtures and fittings that demonstrate that there were once many different uses for the pier, all related to Margate’s rich and diverse history. Even the stones of the pier tell a story, they were quarried at Aislaby in North Yorkshire.

If you can get down to Margate Pier this weekend, see if you can identify any of these or any other clues to the pier’s past history:

The picture shows clockwise from top left:

1. Metal crane track, used from the late 19th and early 20th for coal deliveries to the Margate Gas works

2. Scars of the tracks off the miniature railway that ran along the promenade in the 1950’s and 60’s

3. The original quoin stone and pier surface dating from the c. 1840’s at the landward side of the pier near the Turner Contemporary. This has been covered by later structures.

4.  Mooring positions inscribed into the edging stones along the inner harbour c. mid 20th century. NCB  probably stands for the National Coal Board.

There’s more information about Margate Pier in the Virtual Museum pages about our survey of the structure that was carried out in 2005, for the earlier design of the Turner contemporary – if anyone remembers that!

Let us know what you find if you visit the pier this weekend.


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